The New York Islanders celebrate a winning overtime goal by Kyle Palmieri in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
- The Pittsburgh Penguins host the New York Islanders in Game 2 of their 1st Round series Tuesday, May 18th, 2021
- Kyle Palmieri scored the overtime winner in Game One to give the Islanders a 1-0 series lead
- Here are the odds, team previews, and the best value bet available
New York started with a bang. The Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game one overtime thriller on Saturday. The Islanders stole home-ice advantage with their series opening win, but it’s Pittsburgh who enters Tuesday as the favorites in the Islanders vs Penguins odds. The game broadcasts at 7:30 PM EST on Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 on NBC Sports Network, MSG, and MSG+.
So, what’s the best bet on the board? Let’s take a deep dive into the rosters including two key injuries that could impact the outcome.
Islanders vs Penguins Game 2 Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline at DraftKings||Total|
|New York Islanders||+1.5 (-245)||+114||O 5.5 (+114)|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||-1.5 (+200)||-132||U 5.5 (-139)|
Odds as of May 17th
Palmieri Leads Isles to Series Opening Win
When the Islanders lost captain Anders Lee to a season-ending injury, it was clear General Manager Lou Lamoriello was going to make a move. He landed Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils for a big price, but the move is already paying off. Palmieri opened the scoring in game one and also finished it off with his overtime winner. He’s proving to be exactly what New York needed, a leader both on and off the ice.
Kyle Palmieri was born in Smithtown, N.Y., approximately 30.5 miles from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. He became the first @NYIslanders player to score multiple goals in his playoff debut with the team.#NHLStats: https://t.co/izgGubLB8z pic.twitter.com/k7ZVR9IrAI
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 17, 2021
While Palmieri grabbed the headlines with his two-goal performance, he might’ve been the Islanders’ second most impactful player on the night. His line mate Jean-Gabriel Pageau had one goal, two assists, five shots, and five hits in over 21 minutes of ice-time. Palmieri and Pageau playing together on the Islanders’ third line is a huge matchup problem for other teams, as they proved in game one.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
Penguins Continue to Lean Heavily on Crosby
Sidney Crosby was a force in game one with a goal and five shots in over 25 minutes of ice-time. While the Islanders lean on a balanced line up the Penguins go a very different route. With so much pressure being put on Crosby to produce, the strategy for New York is very clear. Find a way to stop number 87, and you find a way to win the series.
Islanders vs Penguins Series Odds
|Series Odds at DraftKings||Total|
|New York Islanders||-175|
Crosby could be called upon for added minutes again in game two. Including the playoffs, he now has 10 points in nine games against the Islanders this season. Taking a look at his career, the Penguins captain has 122 points in 75 games against New York. The strategy of stopping him may be evident, but the path to doing so isn’t very easy.
Two Key Injuries Loom Ahead Of Game 2
Crosby’s big work load is partially because Evgeni Malkin is on the shelf. He missed game one and has not suited up since May 8th. It’s a big loss for Pittsburgh, who could use his production. Malkin tallied 28 points in 33 games prior to his injury. With teams keeping information to themselves this time of year, there isn’t much to go on for his availability Tuesday night. With Malkin having missed five weeks already, it could be smart to assume he’s not playing until you hear otherwise.
“He had a smile on his face when I told him he was going to start. He said, ‘No problem, Coach. I’ll be good tomorrow.'”
Sorokin was all smiles in his #NHL Playoff debut ⬇️https://t.co/ujtTjzJhoy
— x – New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) May 17, 2021
The Islanders had a big injury as well, with Semyon Varlamov being scratched ahead of game one. The good news is Ilya Sorokin stepped in and made 42 saves in the victory. His great performance wasn’t a total surprise, he had 13 wins this year with a 2.17 goals-against average, and a .918 save percentage. Sorokin had three shutouts, and only six regulation losses in the regular season. This all goes to say the Islanders have an answer if Varlamov remains out while the Penguins appear to be in trouble without Crosby’s running mate.
New York has the momentum and the injury issue doesn’t appear to be as devastating. New York has great value at +114 in the Islanders vs Penguins odds. Trust them to grab a commanding 2-0 series lead with another win in game two.
The Pick: New York Islanders Moneyline (+114)
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Ryan has been working at TSN for over eleven years, and is now a lead writer and content producer at That’s Hockey. Over the years, he’s launched and hosted TSN’s first NCAAF podcast, The College Football Show, and been featured on the likes of TSN 1050, Sportscentre, and That’s Hockey 2Nite.